Review: On Thin Ice (Julie Cross)

On Thin Ice
Series: Juniper Falls, #3
Author: Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Brooke Parker never expected to find herself in the tiny town of Juniper Falls, Minnesota. Of course, she also never expected to lose her dad. Or for her mom to lose herself. Brooke feels like she’s losing it…until she finds Juniper Falls hockey. Juniper Falls girls’ hockey, that is.

Jake Hammond, current prince of Juniper Falls, captain of the hockey team, and player with the best chance of scoring it big, is on top of the world. Until one hazing ritual gone wrong lands him injured, sitting on the sidelines, and―shocking even to him―finding himself enjoying his “punishment” as assistant coach for the girls’ team.

As Jake and Brooke grow closer, he finds the quiet new girl is hiding a persona full of life, ideas, and experiences bigger and broader than anything he’s ever known. But to Jake, hockey’s never just been a game. It’s his whole life. And leveraging the game for a shot at their future might be more than he can give.


Can I just start by saying how disappointed I am in myself for not reading a book by Julie Cross until now? I have seen several rave reviews for her Juniper Falls series in the past. I always wanted to read one of those books, but never did. Shame on me! I absolutely adored On Thin Ice. On Thin Ice is one of those young adult novels that digs deep, but leaves you feeling all happy and bubbly inside. Or at least that is how it  made me feel.

Brooke is a quiet sophomore new to Juniper Falls. She’s had a rough couple of years, and she longs to take back her life in a new town. On a calculated whim, she joins the new high school girls’ hockey team. Joining the team puts Brooke in direct contact with the boys’ teams hockey star, Jake. Being around the cute and charismatic senior is tough enough as it is, but the two share a secret. The more the two get to know each other, the harder it is to stay away from each other and the truths they have to deal with.

Brooke and Jake were characters I couldn’t help but love. Brooke was intense and sweet. She was also a mess. Jake was strong and had the best of intentions, but he was also a mess. Somehow their individuals messes faded when they were together. They were the support system the other needed to make the big, important changes in their lives. I loved them as a couple and as individuals.

I greatly respected where Julie Cross took this story when it came to the hazing incident. There have been so many gone wrong in the news in the past couple of years, and it’s never close to home until it is. On Thin Ice tackled it in a way that gave young readers options to look at if they ever encounter a similar situation. I liked that it wasn’t a quick and easy decision or fix for the characters.

I have a feeling Julie Cross is going to be joining my list of go-to YA authors like Kasie West, Katie McGarry, Emery Lord, and Morgan Matson (just to name a few). I am so excited to go back and read the rest of the Juniper Falls series.

Mini Review: The Duet (R.S. Grey)

The Duet
Series: A Heart Novel, #1
Author: R.S. Grey
Publication Date: October 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, New Adult, Music

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When 27-year-old pop sensation Brooklyn Heart steps in front of a microphone, her love songs enchant audiences worldwide. But when it comes to her own love life, the only spell she’s under is a dry one.

So when her label slots her for a Grammy performance with the sexy and soulful Jason Monroe, she can’t help but entertain certain fantasies… those in which her G-string gets more play than her guitars’.

Only one problem. Jason is a lyrical lone wolf that isn’t happy about sharing the stage—nor his ranch—with the sassy singer. But while it may seem like a song entitled ‘Jason Monroe Is an Arrogant Ho’ basically writes itself, their label and their millions of fans are expecting recording gold…

They’re expecting The Duet.


The Duet is my new favorite R.S. Grey novel. It’s also my new favorite rock star romance. I loved everything about it. Brooklyn and Jason start as musicians forced to work together. Their relationship starts off roughly and morphs into something hot and complicated as the book goes on. I really loved how everything was set up. I adored feisty Brooklyn and silent, secretive Jason. They had a chemistry that worked perfectly with their music. I really, really loved the lyrics R.S. Grey included. I wish they were real songs… I could totally imagine this book as a movie!

Series Review: Between the Lines (Tammara Webber)

Once again, I’m working on my backlist. Between the Lines is a series I’ve wanted to read since I fell in love with Tammara Webber’s Contours of the Heart series. I was excited to finally get around to reading it. Here are my thoughts on each of the four books in the series.


Between the Lines (#1) ★ ★ ★

I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t dislike it either. Between the Lines is told in two perspectives. The first was Emma’s. She was an almost eighteen year old who was cast in a movie along side Reid, one of the hottest young stars of the moment. I liked Emma a lot. She seemed like a teenager trying to figure life out. The other perspective was Reid’s. I hated Reid. He was a tool and a jerk. It was really hard reading his thoughts and choices. He is what made me not love this book — along with the fact that there is a third player in this story. Emma also has a developing “friendship” with another actor names Graham that makes a love triangle out of this book. As this book comes to an end, big secrets are exposed and the triangle is sorted out. I’m glad it didn’t leave me hanging. In the end, this one felt a big set up for the rest of the series to me. I am going to keep reading because I’m curious and have the rest of the books.

Where You Are (#2) – ★ ★ ★

The Reid – Emma – Graham triangle continues! Well, it becomes a love square as Brooke jumps in on the action and increases the drama. I still hated Reid, but he did do one thing I respected. I loved Emma. Graham turned out to be a total sweetheart. Brooke…I loved her last book, but now I feel as good about her as I do Reid. Where you Are was a wild ride.

Good for You (#3) ★ ★ ★

I really, really didn’t want a book about Reid falling in love. I mean, the guy is a total turd. I didn’t want it to be a woman who changed him because that wouldn’t be real life. I wanted him to change himself. That being said, I liked who Reid became. He grew up. It was refreshing to see him come to some conclusions about himself. Dori was okay. I liked all the stuff she had to go through.

Here Without You (#4) ★ ★ ★ ★

This, in my opinion, was the best book of the series. Everything came full circle for the remaining cast of characters. I loved how it was done. I also really loved how Tammara Webber wrote River. This ended up being an interesting celebrity coming of age series. It’s worth a read if you’re a fan of the author.

Review: Jock Rule (Sara Ney)

Jock Rule
Series: Jock Hard, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Publisher: Three Legacies, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Kip Carmichael is no pretty boy.

He’s a rough. Dirty. Giant. Hair so unruly, and a beard so thick, his friends on the team call him Sasquatch.

The first time Sasquatch lays eyes on Theodora “Teddy” Johnson across the keg at a party one night on Jock Row, she’d been relegated to the sidelines by her jock hungry “friends.”

Week-after-week, he watches beautiful but bashful Teddy getting overshadowed, and overlooked. Sasquatch finally broad shoulders his way through the crowd, offering to be her hairy godmother. But the minute their eyes meet? He’s a goner.

Teaching her the RULES for winning a jock will be the easy part. Not falling in love with her is going to be a losing game.


I am so happy the Jock Hard series is back! I loved the first book, Jock Row, and I couldn’t wait to read Jock Rule. The reason I was so excited? I love how this series is low drama and hilarious. Sara Ney has created a new adult sports romance series that is purely fun. So, my feelings about Jock Rule

It was exactly what I was expecting! Sara Ney infused a great romance with her trademark humor. I adored the characters and reading their perspectives. They were both easy to relate to. Teddy was insecure, but a good person. Kip didn’t really care what people thought and he was real and honest. Teddy and Kip’s relationship was a fun one to read about because they felt like two people I could meet in real life. I loved how they went from almost enemies to friends to more. Teddy and Kip’s “friendship” started out really bumpy, and had all these great funny moments. Once things migrated pat friendship, things got more serious and sweet. Their chemistry was off the charts. I loved how their relationship could be all of those things and more.

I liked how friendships were explored in this book. College age really is a time where we discover what types of friendships we want and who we want them with. Sara Ney did a great job showcasing this with Kip and Teddy.  Both characters kind of dealt with it in different ways, and I liked that.

The only thing I wanted Jock Rule to do was dig a little deeper. Kip and Teddy had some great talks about some important situations, but it felt like it didn’t go past surface level some times. Kip never really explained to Teddy the reason he did some things. I liked that Teddy accepted Kip for who he was now, but I just thought there was more to it than was discussed. I would have like to have seen that.

Overall, Jock Rule was an entertaining read with fabulous characters. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was sad to see end it, and I’m already anticipating the next book in the series!

GOODREADS

About the Author:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Series Review: Beautiful Hearts Duet (Emma Scott)

When the Beautiful Hearts Duet released this past summer I wanted to read it, but I was hesitant. I know the power of Emma Scott’s writing, and I was scared to feel what her words would invoke. I also knew it had a love triangle of sorts, and I hate those. In the end, I gave in and read the duet because I knew it would be good and all of the reviews were coming in with high praise.

Bring Down the Stars ★ ★ ★ ½

I have to start out by saying that the acknowledgements and dedications at the beginning of this book had me in tears. That didn’t bode well for my emotions. I have to be honest and say I didn’t love this book. It made me mad because of the love triangle built on lies. I was so frustrated with Weston, Connor, and Autumn while reading it. Weston made me mad because of his dedication to Connor. Connor made me mad because of his attitude about just about everything and his poor decisions. Autumn I wasn’t really mad at. I was more irritated because I wondered how she could really be so blind…but then aren’t we all when we’re falling in love?

Overall, the writing was beautiful. The poems in this book…WOW. The emotions brought on by this book…WOW. The ending…DANG. There’s no way I could take a break between books 1 and 2.

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I don’t even know that I have the words to tell you how much I loved this book. This one starts off emotional and strong. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I ended up loving the direction Emma Scott took this story. I grew to really love Autumn, Weston, and Connor. How everything worked out wasn’t always easy, but it was perfect. The easy moments were almost too easy, but I didn’t mind that because I felt everything come full circle. Bravo, Emma Scott. You did your readers, yourself, and your precious daughter right.

Series Mini Review: Love Me with Lies (Tarryn Fisher)

This past weekend I knocked Love Me with Lies off my backlist. It’s been on there for years because I’m a fan of all of Tarryn Fisher’s other books. I’m so disappointed in myself for waiting so long to read it. It was crazy good — emphasis on the crazy. Here my thoughts after reading each book.

The Opportunist ★ ★ ★ ★

??????
That pretty much says it all.
I’m stuck using emojis for this review because I’m speechless after finishing this book. It was soooooo messed up, but in a good way. Only Tarryn can make me hate and love characters so much at the same time.

Dirty Red ★ ★ ★ ★

This one started out bad for me. I was so disgusted by Leah. I hate Leah, but I understand her now. She grew on me as her story went on. She’s not blameless, but Caleb isn’t either. I lost some respect for him in this one. The only person I started to respect more was Olivia.

Thief ★ ★ ★ ★

I think I liked this book? It’s hard to know because all of the characters were so messed up. I didn’t think I could end up liking them any less while also liking where the story went. I do think it was a fitting end to a crazy, addictive series.

Overall, this is a very messed up, crazy, addictive series. If you like books that will shock you and make you question everything a character does, read this series.

Review: 4th & Girl (Max Monroe)

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tapping the Billionaire comes a hilarious and sexy standalone about fate, chance, and one heck of an epically awkward meet-cute.

4th & Girl
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

4th & Goal: A term used when the offensive team is on its final down and the goal line is the line to reach.

4th & Girl: A story where time is almost up, and the girl of his dreams is just barely out of reach.

Leo Landry, first round draft pick and the New York Mavericks newest starting cornerback, uses grit, concentration, and sheer determination to make his difference on the field.

But the mysterious girl of his dreams might be enough to break his cocky confidence.

Will Leo prevail with a last-minute 4th & Girl?


4th & Girl is the fourth book in the Mavericks Tackle Love series. This time new recruit Leo Landry gets the chance to fall in love with the woman of his dreams. He meets her in the most hilarious of ways, but doesn’t get her name. He’s forced to search for her, and she comes back into his life in yet another funny way.

Oh my goodness! Max Monroe has done it again! 4th & Girl is a romantic comedy gem. The laughs started from the very beginning and by the end I lost count how many times I laughed out loud. There were also some highly emotional and touching moments added into all of the fun. That is exactly what I expect when I pick up a book by this author duo.

Leo Landry was a little bit of a surprise to me. I was expecting him to be all confident and cocky due to being a college football star and now a professional player, but he was actually very well-rounded. I loved his humility and how he valued his family. He took his relationships and job seriously. Leo was one of those special romance characters that everyone is sure to be claiming as their next book boyfriend.

Gemma was also a great character. She felt like a real person because she was so easy to relate to. Gemma was trying to figure out life and what she wanted out of it. We have all been there at some point in our lives.

I adored Leo and Gemma’s romance. The fun of it was just so refreshing. I didn’t feel like I was reading just another sports romance. 4th and Girl was unique and quirky. I loved that. It also had some great emotional moments of truth between Leo and Gemma that were touching and added just enough deeper substance to their story.

Okay. There are some amazing secondary characters I can’t leave out of this review. Abby, Gemma’s best friend, was hilarious. I seriously need to know more about her. I am hoping Max Monroe will give her a book of her own even though the Mavericks Tackle Love series is ending. She’s just too funny of a character to never see again.

4th & Girl was such a joy to read. This review doesn’t even do it justice. It was so entertaining! Time flew by when I was reading it. Leo and Gemma’s romance was delightfully charming. From the way they met to the very end, I couldn’t get enough of them together. I was so sad to see this book and series end. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what Max Monroe have up their sleeves next.

Note: 4th & Girl can be read as a standalone novel, but I don’t know why you would want to miss out on the hilariously witty writing in those first three books. This book and the entire series is so much fun to read. You really don’t want to miss out on any of it.

4th & Girl, an all-new standalone romantic comedy in the Mavericks Tackle Love series from Max Monroe, is available now!

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Download your copy today!

Amazon | AppleBooks | Amazon Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Add to GoodReads

About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

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Review: The Fire Between High & Lo (Brittainy C. Cherry)

The Fire Between High & Lo
Series: Elements, #2
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: March 25, 2016
Publisher: BCherry Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

There once was a boy, and I loved him.

Logan Francis Silverstone was the complete opposite of me. I danced while he stood still. He was quiet, and I was always running my mouth. He struggled to find a smile while I refused to frown.

The night I saw the darkness that truly lived inside of him, I couldn’t look away.

We were broken together, yet somehow whole. We were wrong together, but always right. We were the stars that burned across the night sky, searching for a wish, praying for better tomorrows.

Until the day I lost him. He threw us away with one hasty decision—a decision that changed us forever.

There once was a boy, and I loved him.

And for a few breaths, a few whispers, a few moments, I think he loved me, too.


The Fire Between High & Lo is a book that has been on my TBR for a few years now. It is the last book I needed to read in the Elements series. I am happy I finally got to read it because it was an experience I enjoyed.

From the beginning, The Fire Between High & Lo hit me hard emotionally. The story followed Alyssa and Logan through their friendship, falling in love, falling apart, and finding each other again. It wasn’t a simple or happy story. Alyssa and Logan were not perfect people. Drug abuse and poor decisions played a huge part in everything they went through. Alyssa and Logan’s experiences were high emotion and filled with angst. I felt every one of their feelings in only the way a truly outstanding writer can make me feel. I didn’t always love what I was feeling, but I loved that I could be made to feel that way.

While Alyssa and Logan’s relationship was the most important and center stage, there were several other relationships that made this book. Logan’s relationship with his brother, Kellan, was beautiful. Beautiful doesn’t really even describe it, but I couldn’t come up with another word. They way the supported each other was everything and added another great layer to this story. I also loved Kellan’s relationship Emily. Emily wasn’t fond of Logan, so it added some extra drama. Plus, Kellan and Emily had some stuff to get through of their own that touched me and made me love this story even more than I already did.

One relationship in this book frustrated me, though. Logan’s relationship with his mom made me sad. Julie was a mess. No, wait. She was more than a mess — she was a rotten person. I am sure underneath it all Julie had a good heart, but drugs took that away. She didn’t deserve any of the attention or devotion her children gave her. She made me so mad. I just didn’t understand how her children could be so forgiving and loving.

Brittainy C. Cherry is one of those authors who excels at bringing on “the feels”. She did an exceptional job at showing how families and relationships can be affected by drug abuse. While this wasn’t the happiest of books, I truly loved reading it.

Review: Pucked Love by Helena Hunting

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Pucked Love
Series: Pucked, #6
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Inks & Cupcakes, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I’ve let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.


Gosh, this review is harder to write than I thought it would be. I have all these things I want to say, but I’m afraid I’ll give something away. You’ll have to excuse me if this review ends up being a little vague.

Earlier this year, I FINALLY binge read the Pucked series. I can’t say that it was exactly love at first book (all those MC and beavers about killed me), but I was entertained enough to keep reading. Each book got better and better as the series went on. I found myself loving all the characters, their friendships, and their romances. Throughout the entire series, while everyone else was falling in love, there was one couple that intrigued me: Charlene and Darren. They had this secretive relationship that was only hinted at. I have been dying to know more about them! I was so happy to finally get the chance to know their inner thoughts, feelings, and what the heck they have been up to all this time!

I am a big fan of what Helena Hunting did with this book. She was subtle in ways I wasn’t expecting, but appreciated. Charlene and Darren’s sexual relationship could have taken over the story and defined them, but it didn’t. The emotionally intimate parts shined in a beautiful way. So did all the crazy, cooky moments you would expect in a Pucked novel.

I loved getting to know Charlene as someone other than Violet’s crazy best friend. She had a past that shocked the heck out of me in the crazy way only the Pucked series could do. (I’m still not sure if I liked that part or not.) I also got to know Darren. This pleased me even more than getting to know Charlene. Darren was more than I expected in a very good way. I adored his character and the way he treated Charlene and their relationship.

Pucked Love was a great conclusion to the Pucked series. I couldn’t imagine another ending to not only Charlene and Darren’s relationship, but those of their friends. It was great to be back with the gang again.

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Pucked Love, the final sexy and emotional standalone in the NYT bestselling Pucked Series from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is available NOW!

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Download your copy today!

Amazon | AppleBooks | Amazon Worldwide | Kobo | Nook | Audible | Amazon Print

Add to GoodReads

 

About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

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Review: Fireworks by Sarina Bowen

Fireworks
Series: True North, #6
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Tuxberry Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s willing to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like – never mind. She can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and slide back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

But things go sideways the moment she steps over the county line. Her stepsister is running from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke Skye’s teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.


Every time I hear Sarina Bowen is going to add another book to her True North series I get super excited. I adore this series for not only its love stories but the tough situations and topics it has dealt with. This time, Ms. Bowen tackles a sexual predator who holds a powerful position in the Vermont small town I’ve come to love. (Timely, right?)

Fireworks was a good addition to the Truth North series. It wasn’t my favorite addition, but I really enjoyed reading it. Sarina Bowen’s writing was just as stunning as always. I loved being back in the beautiful Vermont setting and getting to revisit several of my favorite characters. I loved the plot of the book, and the suspense of it. It had me on the edge of my seat at times! I loved the romance at the heart of it all. I loved how it flowed from past to present. What kept me from announcing it as my new favorite in the series? Well, it had to do with one of the characters.

Skye is truly what kept me from being able to give Fireworks 5 stars. I had a hard time connecting all of her parts into one person. In the past, Skye was a fearful teen facing down a predator. She was also a young woman trying to unsuccessfully trying to understand her sexuality. In the present, Skye was an insecure and slightly immature adult. She was also a strong, capable, independent woman. None of those things (past and present) are exclusive of the others, but they didn’t always meld seamlessly into one character. Does that make sense? I had a hard time understanding some of Skye’s current feelings and choices based on her past ones. Something was missing for me in the picture of Skye’s character. Despite that, I still liked her. I liked her relationship with Benito and their backstory.

As for Benito, I loved the guy. I’ve been wondering what kind of story Sarina Bowen would come up with for Benito since they day I met him. He’s always been a bit of mystery in the True North series, so it was fun finally getting to know what this guy was up to. I really loved his job and how it fit in with the whole plot of the story. I also really liked his personality. He was one of the good guys. My favorite thing about this book was the care he took of Skye. It was so sweet. He did have a few moments of stupidity that had me cringing, though. It was easy to forgive him, though, based on the timeline of the book.

Despite my issues with Skye, I still really enjoyed this second chance romance. Fireworks had the perfect mixture of swoon worthy and intense, emotional moments. Sarina Bowen tackled a tough topic that’s relative to today’s social climate and did it in a uniquely satisfying way.